There’s a lot of utter bull floating around about the Mark Foley case. I’d like to sort some of it out in a brief listing of the facts and fictions.
FACT: Mark Foley is accused of having sexually-explicit and suggestive discussions with 16-year old boys. That is NOT “just a little cyber sex,” nor is it harmless, especially when the young man happens to be in your employ. If the accusations are true, Mark Foley not only qualifies for NAMBLA membership, but it’s valid grounds for arrest. Using your computer to attempt sexual activity with a minor is against the law and, back in April, was the cause of another Republican official (Homeland Security Officer Brian Doyle) going to jail. He also discussed giving alcohol to minors, which is a crime in and of itself.
FACT: What Mark Foley did is inexcusable. Being gay, alcoholic, or molested as a child is no excuse for having sexually explicit conversations with 16-year olds. The age of consent in Florida is 18 under these circumstances, and he broke that law by most accounts. Not even if it all was a “prank” is that an excuse for talking to a 16-year old about how his penis size makes you horny. There are a lot of gay people and lots of recovering alcoholics and a lot of people who have experience being sexually abused, and not many of them wind up suggestively asking a 16-year old how he masturbates while “getting off.” Nor is he absolved by Bill Clinton’s infidelities or anything else anyone has done in the history of the planet. He is a bona fide pedaphile. Say what you want about Bill Clinton (and yes, what he did was wrong), but at least she was a grown woman.
FACT: Republican Jim Kolbe has said Foley sent inappropriate e-mails to one of his pages six years ago. The matter was never investigated by Kolbe himself, nor did the Clerk’s office in charge of the page program take it seriously, nor did Repulibcan leadership investigate the matter. In fact, rumors now coming out suggest that pages all throughout the Congress had suggestive nicknames for Foley. For a party hell-bent on “family values,” they sure did a good job of ignoring their own house six years ago.
FACT: At least SOME senior Repulibcans knew about Foley’s behavior months, if not years, ago, probably including Dennis Hastert. Former page Kirk Fordham has suggested that he took the matter straight to Dennis Hastert’s Chief of Staff in 2003, and others have claimed Hastert’s office knew about it more recently. Hastert has come out in damage-control mode, saying that he wants an investigation and will fire whoever was responsible for a cover-up. But I ask you this: do you really want a Speaker of the House who either a) covers up sexual scandals or b) hires staff that keeps things from him? As an independent (and Illinois native from just south of Hastert’s home district), it peeves me off to high hell that we have a man standing third in line to the Presidency who does not know what’s going on in his own party and/or office.
FACT: Mark Foley IS a Republican. He is not a “Democrat in sheep’s clothing.” He is a Republican. You do not get to politically disown someone who’s previously given your party advantage just because he or she is pedophile or does not hold strictly to the party line. If we took out all the “Democrat in sheep’s clothing” Repulicans currently in Congress, there would be about twenty Republicans left in the Senate and about one-hundred Republicans in the House. The only reason the Repulibcans have had a majority of votes in both houses over the last 12 years is because of people like Foley, John McCain, Olymipa Snowe, LIncoln Chafee, etc. If you want to get rid of everyone who “isn’t REALLY a Republican” for the sake of some claim to moral superiority, please hand over the reigns of power immediately.
FACT: Mark Foley stood on the White House lawn and signed a child sexual assualt bill just three months ago. Not only is he possibly a pedophile, he’s also a hypocrite. If senior Republicans have known about Foley’s behavior for years and promoted him to that committee anyway, they, too, are hypocrites, and we have a major problem in our Congress.
FICTION: What Bill Clinton or Strom Thurmond or Trent Lott or Ted Kennedy have done matter. The matter at hand needs to be investigated fully. We need to find out if we have pedophilia-supporters in the highest offices of the House of Representatives. What has happened in the past – in either party, mind you – does not matter when investigating this case. Nothing is more irrelevant in discussing a possible cover-up than what Nixon or Clinton or anyone else did. That is NOT to excuse other misbehaving politicians, but rather to abide by the time-honored judicial system of the United States of America, not to mention COMMON SENSE.
FACT: Mark Foley resigned and went into rehabilitation, but that does not end the matter, nor does it absolve anyone. At this point in time, it does not really matter that Foley has resigned, and his resignation does not prove that “Republicans know how to clean their own house.” Keep in mind this behavior has been going on for six years. In that time he was run for reelection three times and never once resigned. If you think no one else in the entire Republican party knew about this, you’re got your up squarely in the wrong place. Politicians know what goes on, and we have to find out who is covering up things and allowing a pedophile to write our sexual exploitation law.
FACT: What the Repulibcans are doing right now has nothing to do with “family values” and everything to do with “political damage control before the elections.” This is straight from Politics 101, folks. If they gave one stinking iota about family values, there would have been a private inquiry at some point in the past when someone caught wind of it.
FACT: Tony Snow is in damage control. When Tony Snow says “It’s a shame people are using this for political advantage,” he’s utterly full of crap. Trying to have a clean House of Representatives that does not cover up misdealings of its members is not “trying to get political advantage;” it’s trying to have an honest government. Furthermore, Tony Snow is a hypocrite because every action he makes righit now is with “political advantage” in mind.
FACT: Having people who cover-up illicit and perverted behavior is worse than having Communists in office.
FACT: The Democrats did not cause an FBI investigation, nor did they make senior Republicans come out and testify against their own party. The Republicans right now are trying to “spin” this somehow to pin it back on the Democrats. This is because they care more about their party than they do about having a clean House of Representatives. In fact, the AC Gestapo that will downgrade this article cares more about smearing Democrats and keeping a possibly-corrupt Speaker of the House intact than having an honest government that abides by the rule of law.
FINAL QUESTIONS: What exactly is wrong with trying to purge liars and hypocrites from your government? Why are some Republicans trying to spin this on the Democrats when it was entirely brought upon themselves? Why do many Republicans love the elephant more than the eagle??? Let the Gestapo roar.